Obligatory kinda new to blender, have just been following some little tutorials here and there.

Background about my project : I'm trying to make an archimedes screw. Basically it is made of a long metal rod as an axis and curving around it is a helix pipe. It rests on a 30° ish angle from the river/water, so that when the whole thing rotate around the rod axis, the tip will dip intonthe water each rotation and water will go up by some magical physic power.

What i did : Following some tutorials about fluid, i managed to make a flowing river with cube as the inflow shape and bigger cube as the domain. I also managed to make the rotating helix with a circle shape and screw modifier, then i deleted both the cap faces, and added solidify. I have also doubled my resolution to 64 (edit : 120) since i thought that might be the problem.

The problem : But even when i chose my hollow moving helix as the effector, and after i checked that the helix color was blue in the face orientation, the water just didnt want to go into the pipe, they just went around it for each rotation as a simple obstacle.

Any ideas about this? Thanks in advance.

Edit : Blend file https://pasteall.org/blend/22c63053a57b403aacf56fad30186c75

Screenshot :

(this one is collision setting of the helix) this is the collision setting for my helix

(this one is for domain of my box)

gif for domain setting

  • $\begingroup$ please provide blend file $\endgroup$
    – Chris
    Commented May 3, 2021 at 1:09
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ provide screenshots. I made an Archimedes screw once, so it is possible, but I suspect that you’ve either set the effector type to convex hull or your voxel size is too small. $\endgroup$
    – TheLabCat
    Commented May 3, 2021 at 1:18
  • $\begingroup$ @ZargulTheWizard i have added gif and the blend file, i'd really appreciate your help if u have the time. i also tried to make the water transparent so it's more visible when they go into the pipe but idk how to do that, my water turned into weird blue green dots particles instead $\endgroup$ Commented May 3, 2021 at 3:02
  • $\begingroup$ @Chris sorry, just added the blend file. $\endgroup$ Commented May 3, 2021 at 3:08

2 Answers 2


I've downloaded your file and changed a few things to make it work: first of all I disabled Only Rim in the Solidify Modifier of the screw. That way your pipe has an inner wall with face normals pointing in the right direction.

Then the Domain Resolution of 120 is too small for your pipe. It measures around 30 cm on the outside while a voxel at that resolution is about 5.5 cm big. In combination with possible margin issues there's not much open space for the voxels to enter the pipe. I've set the resolution and now (some) liquid goes into the pipe.

And I've expanded the length of the animation to 250 frames, even then the fluid hasn't gone very far up the pipe. If you want it to climb further up, the animation needs to be quite a bit longer.

Finally I've set the Particle Radius of the Mesh to 1.2 instead of 2, so that the fluid doesn't look more like a blob, although with the higher Domain Resolution this might not have been necessary.

  • $\begingroup$ holyyy thankks! i'll try it out later today, will get back to you soon :D $\endgroup$ Commented May 3, 2021 at 9:30

I am pretty sure the reason are the normals.

If you have an effector in a fluid the outside (which is shown as blue if you turn on face orientation)

enter image description here

will "react" to the fluid so the fluid cannot go inside an object.

if you flip the normals, the fluid (which is inside) cannot get out.

In your case - you want both. So i would suggest you make two screws - one outside with "normal" normals and one a bit littler and flipped normals so that the water keeps inside. This could work.

  • $\begingroup$ i.sstatic.net/wQb16.gif I just found something after reading your answer, wouldnt this also work for that? But after playing the animation, it was still all the same :( i think it has something to do with my water resolution (?). Some people mentioned that they use like 256 or 300 for their pipe resolution, but it took me an hour just to do 120. I guess I'll try that if no other answer comes up this afternoon. -- Btw, does anyone know how to make animated fluid see-through ? i couldnt really determine if the water went inside or no with my opaque water. $\endgroup$ Commented May 3, 2021 at 4:23
  • $\begingroup$ i just can recommend using FlipFluids. Yes - it is not free but worth it if you often use fluids. It is simpler to use and much quicker than Mantaflow. $\endgroup$
    – Chris
    Commented May 3, 2021 at 4:43
  • $\begingroup$ i do not think that it is the resolution is the reason in your case because your pipe was IMHO big enough. $\endgroup$
    – Chris
    Commented May 3, 2021 at 4:44

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